You’d be surprised how resilient cameras are. My first half-decent one was a Canon 300N. (Got nicked in a nightclub in LA when I was chatting up one of my sister’s mates at a wedding)

It took manys the salt-water beating and kept on going for a long, long time. Even when the screws were rusted on the outside, it’s heart kept beating on the inside. (See some of the results at http://community.webshots.com/user/markhamnolan)

I suppose Digital cameras aren’t the same in that regard, though….